Comparing New and Old

Posted on May 1, 1984 by Ty Bobit

A parallel exists within the limousine market that should he noted by newcomers and veterans alike in this robust segment of the vehicle service industry.

In our continuing dialogue with limousine operators, we have noted a particular familiar ring to the cry of the older and experienced operators bemoaning the advent of the new agencies starting up as the cause of burdensome problems inevitable in a growing market. It is not that a well-established, successful operator necessarily deplores competition. On the contrary, intelligent competition is normally welcomed as a means of expansion for an already healthy marketplace.

Trouble arises, however, when the newcomer initiates questionable methods that muddy the water. This does not mean lower, and perhaps unnecessary, cut-rates that could make the new operator a “former operator” in a hurry. If can also mean a change in the quality of service, vehicle upkeep and personnel that not only can cause the limousine service community a problem, but also detracts from the earned professionalism nurtured through years of dependable service to user accounts — a “black-eye” not easily erased.

The moral: New limousine operators need proper business training in marketing, operation and pricing to be competitive, to be profitable, to truly represent an emerging market with a valued reputation that now shines like a brand new limousine.

Similarly, coachbuilders complete the parallel. The old and well-established names remain successful year after year Coachbuilding appears very attractive, profitwise, to newcomers creating a proliferation of conversion companies.

Livery services purchasing new limousines must realize that new coachbuilders can be and are quite innovative. They may design and develop unique engineering details that cannot only be advantageous, but practical. Furthermore, newcomers often need to be creative to attract purchasing consideration.

As with new limousine services coachbuilders also must be cautious in marketing, pricing and watching the overall competition in order to avoid financial disaster. This means any purchasing account should have a long-term opportunity to acquire value now as well as in future years. There’s sufficient business out there for all — if all practice intelligent business management.

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